'Cathedral of Speed' awaits red hot Marquez

Marc Marquez celebrating in Catalonia

With temperatures soaring across Europe, Marc Marquez wants to turn the heat up even higher on his championship rivals at this weekend's Dutch MotoGP.

The five-time world champion arrives at Assen on the back of success in Catalonia which gave him a 37-point cushion in the race for the 2019 riders' title.

Twelve months ago, the eighth leg of the season at the 'Cathedral of Speed' served up an epic encounter, with Honda's Spanish star triumphing in a seven-bike battle for victory.

"I'm looking forward to racing there again as we have had some good battles in the past and have put on a great show for the fans," Marquez told motoGP.com.

"I am sure we will have a great race on Sunday. The weather is also looking good so I am confident we can have a strong weekend."

Marquez says the key to doing well at Assen lies in being "consistent and precise in the fast change of directions".

He hasn't done too shabbily here in the past, with last year's win his sixth at the circuit which often draws crowds of more than 100,000 fans.

The closest challengers in the standings is Andrea Dovizioso, the Ducati rider who took a tumble last time out in Montmelo forcing Yamaha duo Valentino Rossi and Maverick Vinales out of the race.

MotoGP legend Rossi has 10 Dutch GPs to his name, the last in 2017.

"In Montmelo we did a good job in the garage, we worked well, and we were very fast," reflected nine-time world champion Rossi.

"I felt good during the two laps in the race, so in the Netherlands this week we will work hard to get ready for the fight at the front again.

"We come to Assen with fire in our bellies."

The evergreen 40-year-old Italian is fifth in the standings, on 72 points, with Marquez on 140.

Another rider to hit the deck at Montmelo was Aleix Espargaro, who suffered a micro-fracture to his left femur and a knee injury but is confident of getting the all clear to compete.

The Aprilia rider has undergone "intense rehabilitation" and says "I am pleased with the results because I feel rather well".

The crowd in Catalonia got two Marquez's for the price of one, with Marc's younger brother Alex landing the Moto2 race to leapfrog his Kalex teammate Lorenzo Baldassarri in the category standings.

Marquez junior is seeking his fourth straight victory on Sunday.